ODO Events

Universal Access in Airports

Universal Access in Airports (UAIA) provides a unique opportunity for dialogue among the various stakeholders in the aviation industry–airports, airlines, airline service companies, travelers, and suppliers. This two-day conference, held biennially by Open Doors Organization since 2006, offers an open exchange of ideas and best practice solutions on customer service and accessibility for air travelers with disabilities and aging/older adults.

Universal Access in Airports 2020

Due to recent events worldwide, ODO has made the decision to postpone the in-person UAIA event to 2022. Stay safe!

Speaking Opportunities are available! 

Contact Katy O’Reilly with questions – 773.388.8839 or KatyO@opendoorsnfp.org

Past Events

Universal Access in Airports 2018

UAIA 2018, held Aug. 27-29 at the InterContinental Hotel MSP, was the most international to date with representatives from Austria, Canada, France, the UK, Switzerland and Japan.

UAIA 2018 Agenda: docx pdf

Presentations–August 28, 2018
(In alphabetical order)
Phil Burke, MSP, Part 1
Phil Burke, MSP, Part 2
Roberto Castiglioni, Heathrow Access Advisory Board
Seena Foster, TSA
Maegan Johnson, DOT
Heather Karch, SEA
Jonathan Klein, FAA
Sara Marchant, LGW, Pres. 1
William Neece, Ozion
Leon Patterson, Maryland Aviation Administration
Linda Ristagno, IATA
Alan Howell, MSP and Jens Vange, Alliiance

Presentations–August 29, 2018
(In alphabetical order)
Frank Ciaccio, Houston Airport System
Konrad Gruber, Bulmor
Katie Hench, Infiniteach
Anila Jivanji, American Airlines
Ruben Kazantsev, Antikythera, Part 1
Ruben Kazantsev, Antikythera, Part 2
Jason Luebke, AvTech
Sara Marchant, LGW, Pres. 2
Cathy Nyfors, YVR
Rasha Said, Sensible Innovations (Coming Soon)
Sonny Smith, Air Care Travelers (Coming Soon)
Greg Stilson, Aira
Satoshi Sugie, WHILL Inc.

Please contact Katy O’Reilly for presentations in an accessible format.

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Presenting Sponsor

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ODO Airline Symposium 2018

Monday, August 27, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, MN
Open Doors Organization now holds its Airline Symposium biennially in conjunction with Universal Access in Airports. This invitation only, closed-door session allows air carriers—national, regional and international—to discuss problems and share best practices regarding services and facilities for air travelers with disabilities.

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IATA Global Accessibility Symposium

The IATA Global Accessibility Symposium took place on 05-06 November 2019 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

The Symposium, kindly hosted by Emirates, offered an unparalleled platform of discussion among stakeholders and passengers regarding how air transport can be a truly accessible and inclusive industry for passengers with disabilities.

In addition to the unique opportunity to look at some of the regulatory/policy approaches worldwide, the Symposium also identified operational best practices and looked at innovative technologies that enable persons with disabilities to have access to a safe, reliable and dignified travel experiences.

View the agenda here

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Upcoming Webinars

Best Practices for Stowage and Handling of Assistive Devices

Tuesday, August 11 from 11:00am-1:00pm CDT

In 2019, 685,792 assistive devices were enplaned on US flights but few ground handlers have been trained on the proper handling and stowage of these delicate, and extremely important, devices.  

Join ODO’s Eric Lipp and Craig Kennedy as they discuss proper procedures and best practices that minimize the chance for damage on mobility devices of all types.

Key Topics

  • Federal laws and regulations
  • Types of manual and powered mobility aids/assistive devices
  • Identification and proper transport of battery-powered mobility aids
  • Proper breakdown and reassembly
  • Assessing pre-existing damage and equipment tagging
  • Safe lifting, handling, stowage and transport of wheelchairs and scooters


  • Eric Lipp, Executive Director, Open Doors Organization
  • Craig Kennedy,Program Coordinator, Open Doors Organization

Register Now

Findings from ACRP Report 210 Innovative Solutions to Facilitate Accessibility for Airport Travelers with Disabilities

Tuesday, August 25 from 11:00am-1:00pm CDT

ACRP Report 210 provides guidance and information to airports and their stakeholders on innovative solutions to facilitate accessibility for passengers with a variety of physical, sensory and/or cognitive challenges. This guidance is applicable to all types and sizes of airports and includes leveraging digital or physical innovation at passenger touch points and throughout the course of the journey.

ODO served as lead on this research project with contributions and support from Alliance, Arora Engineers, Trillion Aviation, and Indiana University.

Key Topics

  • The unmet needs of travelers with various disability types including physical, sensory and cognitive challenges, and non-English speakers
  • Barriers to equitable service
  • Best practice solutions for improving access with examples from U.S. and foreign airports
  • Key recommendations and implementation methods for continual improvement among stakeholders

Featured Research

  • ACRP Report 210Innovative Solutions to Facilitate Accessibility for Airport Travelers with Disabilities

Register Now!

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